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I was first licensed as a Technician class in 1967 with the callsign WA2HLI while living in Ringwood, New Jersey (my son Craig now holds this callsign!).  The Elmer I credit with "sparking" my initial interest in radio and electronics was a neighbor of ours, a Mr. Bill Patterson - K2DCX (SK) of Washington Twp, NJ.  After moving to Ringwood, NJ. several years later, I was introduced to Hazard Reeves - K2GL (SK) of Tuxedo Park, N.Y. while working at a nearby electronics assembly company during my summer break from high school.  K2GL was one of the "big gun" stations at the time and Hazard was kind enough to give me a tour of his large contest station and spent several hours with me demonstrating the station equipment.  Shortly thereafter, John White - W2YDK (SK) of Ringwood, NJ. became my Elmer and persuaded me to finally study for my first amateur radio license.  John was the chief engineer at WPAT in Patterson, NJ. at the time and held commercial licensces as well as an amateur extra license.  After a couple months of studying theory and practicing my morse code daily, W2YDK administered my Technician class code and written exam in the fall of 1967. Upon passing the Technician class code and theory exam, I was then issued WA2HLI by the FCC, a call I held for 48 years.

In November of 1969 I enlisted in the US Navy and after attending boot-camp in Great Lakes, IL, I was assigned to the U.S. Naval Communication Training Center (NAVCOMTRACEN) located in Pensacola, FL. While there I had the opportunity to operate from the center's club station WA4ECY and attend my first field day operation.  Upon graduating from NAVCOMTRACEN in mid-1970 as a Cryptologic Technician (CTR), I was then assigned to the US Naval Communications Station (NAVCOMSTA) in Wahiawa, Hawaii (1970 - 1973).  Soon after arriving in Hawaii, I upgraded to General class and then a month or two later to Advanced class at the downtown Honolulu FCC field office.  While living in Hawaii, most of my operating was done from the NAVCOMSTA club station KH6UL ("Uncle Louie") with occasional operation from my home QTH as WA2HLI/KH6.  My home station consisted of a newly constructed Heathkit SB-102, a tri-band quad and a tri-band Cushcraft vertical.  The club  station at "Uncle Louie"  was very well equipped, consisting in part of two Collins S-lines, a Henry 2K3 amplifier and a HyGain TH6DXX at 50 feet.  I have many fond memories of operating from "paradise" for sure! 

I had continued to hold the callsign WA2HLI while living in the states of New Jersey, Hawaii, New York, Colorado and lastly Florida.  My initial move (actually an employer transfer) to Florida was to the Tampa Bay area in 1989 from Boulder, Colorado where I was employed by the IBM corporation as a mainframe systems programmer.  I remained in the Tampa Bay area for several years then moved to Melrrose, Fl. in late 1999.  After 48 years with the same callsign, I recently decided to "retire" the WA2HLI callsign and requested W2EMM in mid-September of 2015. 

My station currently consists of an Icom IC-7600, Kenwood TS-940S, Yaesu FT-857D, Alpha 8410 amplifier, Drake L4-B amplifier, Cushcraft R5 vertical and Double Bazooka wires on 40 and 75 meters.  Also in the station are various Icom, Yaesu and Motorola VHF/UHF transceivers.  On keyboard/digital modes I use the Timewave PK-232DSP as an interface.  Very recently I began testing the waters in the digital mobile radio realm and now operate DMR via the DMR-MARC and Brandmeister network of repeaters.  I am hoping to get a tower and yagi erected once again sometime in the near future.

I am currently a member of the ARRL, the QCWA and the "Over The Hill Net" on 75m.  While I do operate on 10-12-15-17-20 and 40meters SSB/CW/RTTY/PSK, most of my on-air activity right at the moment is mobile VHF/UHF due to other priorities.  I am also working on getting the majority of my past contacts into an electronic format and I will then be submitting those logs to the LOTW.  (Please be patient with me while this transition takes place as this is a "work in progress" project and there is a lot of data to be entered).  In the meantime, QSLing via snail mail is ALWAYS a welcomed option and each request will be immediately QSL'd 100 percent!  (Please note that I do not currently participate in the EQSL program).

Retirement is now finally here so the plan is to spend a lot more time on the air once our home remodeling project is completed.

Thanks for reading and I hope to work you on the bands!


de Bob - W2EMM  (ex WA2HLI) and XYL Nita - N2BBC

8523899 Last modified: 2017-12-20 06:21:43, 4836 bytes

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